Your business isn’t static, nor are any of your existing customers. Just like your business, your clients will have up times and down times. You need to stay close to the health of your customers and be proactive in how you react in order to safeguard your profitability and ROI.
When your clients are growing, it’s your opportunity to grow the relationship by expanding on the solutions you’ve provided and selling in additional services. But when your clients are struggling to meet their expenses, your antenna should be up for signs that their cutbacks could include you. That’s why you should always have an ongoing business development program.
Because the only certainty in business is change, here are four tips for growing your sales pipeline in order to weather the ups and downs:
Capture Warranty and License Renewal Revenue
Tracking subscription and warranty alerts are a big part of providing top-notch service and optimizing the customer experience. But those are also great business development opportunities.
By setting up automatic workflow alerts in your business management software to trigger based on a customer asset’s expiration date, you can optimize incremental revenue and set up reminders to send out a new business proposal or quote. It’s your chance for your sales team to reach out in order to grow the relationship by expanding on the solutions you’re providing and selling additional services.
Create Defined and Repeatable Sales Processes
Understand your sales process and create clear milestones or “stages.” You can’t just wait around for the next referral to give you a call. Regardless of whether you have dedicated sales people, you should set up a daily routine of sales-related activities, like making three prospect calls a day or doing one comprehensive client review per week, looking for new up-sell opportunities.
Next, methodically work your way through all of your prospects and determine where they are in your process. Schedule your automated reminders to follow-up and to move them to the next stage in your process.
Tracking Prospects and Leads
Just like you, your clients will go through up times and down times. When your clients are struggling to meet their expenses, their cutbacks could include you. Having a steady stream of prospects and leads will help take the pressure off should you lose a customer and help you grow at the same time.
An efficient CRM (customer relationship management) tool or internal database will allow you to maintain key prospect information, log communication records, segment them into groups for specialized marketing and messaging and track the lead from open to close. No more guessing on what’s in your sales pipeline.
Hold Your Sales Team Accountable
If your sales team isn’t generating more revenue than their own cost-burden to the company, they’re hurting you more than helping. But if you’re not tracking it, you’ll never know. A robust CRM will not only track prospects and leads but also allow you to see a sales pipeline health check at a glance.
Track your sales team’s activities — from phone calls to emails to quotes created — as well as how many opportunities have hit certain milestones and which are stagnant all within the same database. You can even have your team set up automatic reminders to follow-up with leads or to alert you when a new sale closed.
Bonus: Contract Profitability
Looking for more ongoing business development opportunities? Start with your customers' contract profitability. Check out the 4 Must-Have Tools to Track, Analyze and Increase Contract Profitability in this webinar.